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2018 Goals – July Update

;tldr Some wonderful new patterns are emerging, and I think I’m more sustainably finding a path towards health. Also shoutout to John Holland and all the other folks who always have my back on these goals.

Get to 175 lbs
July weight chart

July weight chart

The last month has been an exercise in teaching myself how to fit health into the life I live today, and not comparing it to what health looked like when I was younger. The constant need to catch up to where I was in college and high school has killed me – mainly mentally due to an inevitable feeling of constant failure. As I’ve found a way to reframe my own expectations, I’ve also found myself much more satisfied with one pick up soccer game per week, or one rock climb date with Amelia.

It won’t get me where I want quickly, but I can now see a way to actually get there, and be happier along the way.

1 book per month

I kept the fiction genre going for another month with The Early Short Stories of Truman Capote. It’s a great combination of seeing how genius develops with seeing the process of how creativity works. Some of the stories were just brilliant. Others – were just eh. But I’d definitely recommend it.

2 date nights with Micky

We only pulled off one date night in July, but it was AWESOME.

We went out with a group of Luka’s classmates parents, and did Korean BBQ and karaoke. The food was good. The singing was awful. But the night was great. In August we’ll make up for some lost time with Geoff and Wendy in town to save the day!

1 date per child per quarter

Amelia and her friend M have decided to try out for the local rock climbing gym competitive team. I told her she could only do it if she practiced, and listened to instruction while practicing. And she said sure! It’s been a blast doing this together. She’s getting really good, and it’s awesome to see her practice something methodically and get better at it. A fun activity that we can do together for a while yet. Very excited to support her in this.

The big kids left at 7:15am for three weeks to hop on a bus, and go to camp. One of those weeks, Micky was out of town, and so sleepy head Theo had to wake up and take them to the bus stop with me. We’d drop them off, and have the most fun morning together. We made kofte. We chased Pokémon. We hung out at Starbucks. He’s so magical, and it’s amazing to have this time with him.

New Year Resolutions 0 comments on 2018 Goals – June Update

2018 Goals – June Update

tldr; Losing track, and losing motivation 🙁

Get to 175 lbs
It’s worse than May, but realistically that was unsustainable. I’m starting to ask myself whether driving towards a number really matters. Or whether I’m really just looking to sustain a lifestyle, and the number is a barometer of if it’s getting worse or better. Nonetheless, this is the most demotivating of the set :-/

June 2018 weight update
June 2018 weight update

1 book per month
I hopped into some classics this month – specifically Of Mice and Men. I can’t figure out if I love it or hate it, but I completely understand why it’s different, unique, reproduced, examined, and the like. I also love reading stories that are set in places where I’ve been. And Steinbeck did a great job storytelling that road and the scenery that is Salinas and the surrounding area in California.

2 date nights with Micky
I don’t remember if we pulled this off or not 🙁

1 date per child per quarter
I also have no idea if I pulled this one off or not. I’m almost certain the answer is no though 🙁

New Year Resolutions 0 comments on 2018 Goals – May Update

2018 Goals – May Update

tldr; Nothing like Ramadan and Strep Throat to get you back on track!

Get to 175 lbs
I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what healthy means. Is it the number? The lifestyle? An ability to do something that I can’t do today? I’m not quite at an answer yet, but in the month of May I made a ton of progress (unintentionally) towards this goal. The line is steep, and the probability that I keep it with an upcoming trip to Turkey is – zero.

1 book per month
Great book month! I’m almost done with my Nazim Hikmet book. I finished a book on Quantum Physics called Reality is Not What it Seems, and I also knocked out The First 90 Days as I prepared for the new job. I’m ahead of schedule on getting to 12 books read this year, and I’m both excited by it, and a bit stuck. I genuinely have no idea what to read next – so all ideas are gladly welcome.

2 date nights with Micky
The one date night I know we had was with Nikki & Maddie, and that was AWESOME! We went to some place on Flatbush (I can’t remember the name), and had a bunch of dishes, shared them all, and just laughed the night away. I love them so much. Just so much fun every time we get together.

But I have no idea if we did a second date night or not 🙁 For the life of me, I can’t remember if we had a second date night this month. It’s been really intense with closing out work at Hearsay, starting a new job, Micky’s work getting intense, and the like. I’ve clearly got to get better at documenting date nights.

1 date per child per quarter
No solo dates with the kids this month. It’s getting harder to do this with the big two. They just have too much going on. It’s a bit easier with Theo because he does his own thing, and you can just join in. I’m going to have to really emphasize this one as we push into the summer months.

New Year Resolutions 0 comments on 2018 Goals – April Update

2018 Goals – April Update

tldr; Sometimes you’ve gotta go backwards to go forward again 🙁

Get to 175 lbs
A month where I went backwards. It’s everything. Travel. Stress. More travel. More stress. Not being disciplined about calories. But also, not being committed to the positive benefits that a healthier body would give. I think that’s the big take away I’ve realized lately. If I only do this from a negative place, then I’m always going to lose momentum and fail.

I’ve got to embody healthiness as a positive win for myself, not just a necessary evil to not die.

Screenshot 2018-05-13 08.46.03
April Weight Chart

1 book per month
Reading was fun in April.

Micky got me the Adam Grant book Originals, and I devoured it. It’s superb. In so many fantastic ways. The research is well done. The storytelling is well done. I loved it. You should definitely read this book.

I also – finally – finished The Myth of Sysiphus. The essay itself has incredibly well written highs, and incredibly boring lows. The additional essays tacked on are relatively a miss. But if you were to now ask me why Existentialism became the religion of the 20th century I would completely understand. In the absurdity of post-World War II, facing a Cold War, if you abandoned the existing organized religions, then you honestly had no other choice. It fills so many holes that believing in nothing would leave in your life. Maybe a neo-existenialism will rise up out of the fascism of our modern moment…

2 date nights with Micky
We hopped over the pond to the UK where we did both date nights in one week this month. One was a 2 night getaway to Cornwall (which was AWESOME). And the second was a night where a bunch of our UK friends came down to a little cottage we rented, and hung out with us (which was AWESOME).

And then we spent the rest of the month apart due to travel 🙁 that was less awesome.

1 date per child per quarter
Theo and I snuck in a date day this month. It was small and fun – to Times Square. The highlight was M&Ms with Theo’s name on them. More to be found here.

New Year Resolutions 0 comments on 2018 Goals – March update

2018 Goals – March update

tldr; Steady progress

Get to 175 lbs
I haven’t nailed the pattern of exercise to accelerate things, but I’m solidly below 200 pounds (199 lbs). The goal in April will be focusing on getting exercise into the groove in one way or another to really push me into the 180s before the summer months begin. Less so for swimsuit season, and just more for personal health. This is a tough one, but a necessary one.

Weight Chart - March 2018
Weight Chart – March 2018

1 book per month
I finished Business Model Generation, and was able to read another book – Keeping Your Sh*t Together. It’s a phenomenally well written book on how to recognize and manage your mental and emotional health while going through the ups and downs of running a business. Whether you’re the founder, a GM, a product lead, a manager, an individual contributor, it doesn’t matter – this book can be useful for you.

It’s one of those books where you read it, and then need to keep it on your shelf so that when you catch yourself in one of those moments you can pull it out and use it as a reference.

2 date nights with Micky
Micky and I had a really great date day right at the end of the month – we bought a new house in upstate New York! It’s going to be really fun to have a place to go where the kids can get muddy, I can fish, and Micky can have a project.

We also did a grown up night with Theo’s friend Cal’s parents. That’s what happens when you have kids. They’re the ones who define who your friends are, and you just hope they choose well. Theo chose very well here, and we had a really fun night at Balabastoo eating all sorts of great Israeli food. I would highly recommend it.

1 date per child per month quarter
This was Luka’s month (I think Amelia missed out in Q1). We went to the ACC Basketball Tournament to watch NC State break my heart. You can read all about it here. It’s so much fun watching him become a sports fan, and falling in love with the things that I used to do as a kid. There’s really nothing better than sharing that kind of experience with my son. It was amazing.

New Year Resolutions 1 comment on 2018 Goals – February update

2018 Goals – February update

tldr; A good month on almost all fronts

Get to 175 lbs
Big jump towards the goal in February – where I lost 8 pounds. This came down to three factors (1) I got the Flu, and literally shaked, sweat, and starved myself down a few pounds (2) intermittent fasting which is working out for me well (I’m doing 15-9, and working towards 16-8) (3) keto diet which I hate, but it’s forcing me to snack less and eat smarter which is working well.

In March, I’m going to start rock climbing twice a week after the babies go to sleep to try to add exercise to the mix, and hopefully as the weather turns find a soccer game.

1 book per month
I didn’t finish my book Business Model Generation, but I love it. I’ll finish it soon. It’s got me buzzing again about things to build, and figuring out whether they are products or businesses. Thinking about business models, and how to more creatively use business models to generate innovation. Good read that I would highly recommend.

2 date nights with Micky
Months with a three-day weekend make this one a lot easier to achieve. Micky and I had a really fun President’s Day together where we hung out with Ibai and Alyssa, walked around Manhattan, and just spent time in each other’s space. Couple that with a fun birthday dinner for Dom, and another date night on top of that, and it was an unusually active month.

My favorite though was spending 2.5 hours together trying to piece together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. We’re only about 25% through, and I’m worried the rest will take even more time… but it was an awesome, technology-free night.

1 date per child per month quarter
The last Saturday of February, I spent the full day with just Theo… and it was glorious. We went to the American Natural History Museum. We saw blue whales, dinosaurs, elephants. We had a great time in the cantina drinking inappropriately sugary drinks. When we hopped onto the subway on the way home, Theo passed out, and all I could think to myself was just how wonderful it is to have him.

This is probably my favorite of my goals, and March is gonna come with lots of fun opportunities to do more.


New Year Resolutions 1 comment on 2018 Goals – January Update

2018 Goals – January Update

Get to 175 lbs
Not the best start, but 4 pounds is something. I started the year at 210 lbs (holy shit – I know), and I’m down to 206. Given CKO and Vegas, it isn’t horrible. It’s also going to take more than disciplined diet though because I’m not that disciplined 🙁

1 book per month
I finished The Great Transformation by Karl Polyani. It’s superb. I think everyone should do themselves a huge favor, and put this book on their bed stand. It’s a treatise on how economic liberalism is destined to fail, and how we’ve spent 200 years lying to ourselves about the viability of raw capitalism. Look all around us, and we’ll see that Polyani was right, and his views on Poor Laws and Regulations could have easily predicted the economic situations in which we find ourselves today (poor labor protections, growing divide between poor and rich, misuse of land, money and people). A much better book for the emerging Socialist than Mr. Marx in my opinion.

2 date nights with Micky
We pulled this one off in a bit of a funny way. We did a date night to see The Shape of Water – which is a stunning film. And then ran away from the kids for a day (courtesy of Doruk and Hanna) to go house hunting in Upstate NY. I think though in February that we’ll try harder to do two proper date nights 🙂

1 date per child per month
I failed horribly at this one. I think I’ll change this one to 1 date per child per quarter. There really aren’t enough weekends and moments to find 1 date per month. The upcoming ACC Basketball Tournament could be a good start…

Overall – not a bad start. It’s been good forcing myself to read more, and I think I’m going to start to make more and more progress on the weight goal. More information on both coming soon 🙂

just thinking out loud 0 comments on 2017: A Year in Review – The Bad

2017: A Year in Review – The Bad

I was honestly really pleasantly surprised by how many good things I could come up with for this year because it’s honestly been a year dominated by the bad.

I’ve learned this year that the people who I grew up around never wanted me to be in their lives in the first place. My teachers, my coaches, my neighbors – they despised my background, my future, and who knows maybe even my presence.

I’ve been so bi-coastal this year that I feel like I’m constantly missing out on the most important thing in both places. Critical events happening in real time while I’m video or dialed in. Parent-teacher conferences or fun school events when I’m crossing the country the other way. I never knew getting status with an airline would be such a taxing and exhausting process.

I’ve been so lonely being in a new city, not being able to find the time to establish new friendships, and just constantly being stuck with my own thoughts. It took me a while to make friends in SF too, and I think I just forgot how hard it was. And I didn’t have kids in tow back then.

I’ve been bad to my physical self. I’ve gained 20 pounds. I don’t exercise, do yoga, or play soccer. I eat badly because I’m constantly stress eating.

But ultimately, I just haven’t been the father or the husband that I want to be. I haven’t been the person I want to be. My calendar has run my life instead of me feeling like I have a clear destination in mind and checking in with myself to make sure I’m getting there.

In 2017, I lost sight of where I’m going, and who I want to be when I get there. It’s been a bad year. One of the ones we’ll put in the forget jar when history writes our stories.

So good-bye 2017… on to the next one.

just thinking out loud 0 comments on 2017: A Year in Review – The Good

2017: A Year in Review – The Good

What a year… to say the least. Dominated so much by what happened around me, that I really spent almost no time thinking about looking inward, and keeping score on myself. There was a lot of bad… but let’s start with the good.

  • Exploring a new city
    It’s been so much fun getting to know New York. We moved December 17th, and spent the year becoming citizens of the world’s capital. It’s a fascinating city with so much to offer – Chinese New Year, museums, subway, Coney Island, going Upstate, and so much more. Learning the city and everything New York has to offer has been nothing short of extraordinary.
  • Being closer to Doruk (and Hanna)
    I think though the best part of all of this has been being closer to Doruk. The kids getting to know him better. Getting to know Hanna better. Defining who our family is in this generation as we redefine our unit post living in our parent’s home. My favorite – of so many adventures – was a text message call out for Sunday night dinner where we all descended from all parts of both NY and the US to get together. A clear sign that we’re building something special.
  • My aunt visited us
    I think a lot of the folks I grew up with would be hard pressed to put family on any good list. But I never really saw anyone growing up. Once every few years for a few days at a time is really hard to build a rapport. But this year, my aunt came to us, and stayed for a while. It was really lovely. Both in that she got to be here, and in that we got to be tourists together as well. It was definitely a highlight for me to say the least. 
  • Superb times with friends
    I had so many fantastic adventures this year with friends – NASCAR race with James and the boys, horse racing with John at the Belmont, a night out with Sam that will live in infamy, and dinners out in SF with the people I love. Being in a new place can be incredibly lonely, and having these moments to hold onto has been wonderful.
  • Vacation in the Turks & Caicos
    I’m quite bad at taking vacations, but Micky planned for us to go to the Turks & Caicos Islands, and disconnect for a week or so… and it was AWESOME. SCUBA diving, fishing, snorkeling, making friends, swimming in the pool, doing lots of nothing… it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I absolutely loved it. We got really lucky too because we beat Hurricane Irma by literally 36 hours.
  • My dad’s induction into the NC State Computer Science Hall of Fame
    I think it’s quite obvious to anyone who knows me well how much I measure myself against my dad, and his successes. My dad, and my grandfathers, are my gold standard. And it’s amazing to me how no matter what my dad is constantly pushing the bar forward. This year, he was part of the inaugural Hall of Fame class at NC State’s Computer Science deprtment. Out of 9000 alumni, he was chosen as one of the top 25. It’s nothing short of awesome and inspiring. That we also got to go to the State Fair that weekend only put icing on the cake for what was a momentous few days for our family.
  • Working with Ibai and Matt again
    Having now moved to a new company for the first time in my life, I’m really happy to be working with some of the folks who I was the most excited to work with in previous lives. While things at Hearsay have been nothing short of crazy, being able to take on the adventure together has made it that much more fun. Coupled with a great team that I’ve proudly built, and I think 2018 will be an amazing year.

To top it all off, taking this adventure on with Micky and watching my babies grow on their own journies has been nothing short of amazing. I know this whole thing would be so empty without them. Theo’s love for the Natural History museum. Luka’s love for the Cosmos. Amelia becoming an urbanite almost over night.

So while there’s been much chaos, there has also been much good. Yet, and I’ll write more on this tomorrow, I’m happy to say good-bye to 2017.

just thinking out loud 0 comments on Last night the world become a little bit more empty

Last night the world become a little bit more empty

My dear friend Payam,

I thought in 10 days time we’d get together for breakfast. I wanted to talk about sending Dylan to New York, and not letting me know. And how soccer was going. What a great job you’re doing at TokBox, and how happy I am at Hearsay. How our dads are getting older, and the world is getting angrier.

But instead, as I sit here tonight, I’m thinking instead about how cruel life is.

For your mother and father, who have to bury a second child.
For your boys.
For your wife.
For all of the people you took care of while never letting any of us take care of you

The world is a little bit more empty, and so is my heart.

Good-bye dear friend. I hope you’re at peace.

We miss you too much already